Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Filter the past

[In a certain way, we’re against the Enlightenment ideal that the most basic characterisation of us is as autonomous agents who can freely give meaning to our own lives. You can’t make something be meaningful for you just by deciding that it’s going to be meaningful. There’s something psychologically plausible about this. If you’re going to experience certain aspects of your life as mattering more than others, you can’t expect that to happen just by deciding it will be so on your own.
NS: But you can expect it from gods? Are your gods really there in some sense?
SK: It would be silly for us to say, for instance, that Athena really exists. Almost nobody would accept that. But there’s a genuine phenomenon that Homer understood, which is the phenomenon of human excellence taking place in the context of masterly, skillful activity, which, when you perform it, isn’t experienced as having you as its source. ...
SK: The Homeric age was one in which people stood in wonder at the amazing things—and awful things—that could happen to them in their lives. That’s something like the opposite of the nihilistic threat that many say characterizes our contemporary age. This led us to ask what is operating in the background of Homer’s understanding of the world that motivates him to emphasize this mood of wonder. One thing seems especially important for him: that human beings can’t be acting at their best unless they’re in a situation that is drawing them to act, in which the gods are present in their acting.
The shining and the shiny: an interview with Sean Dorrance Kelly - The Immanent Frame by Nathan Schneider on Oct 24, 2011 10:39 PM]

[I tie together the proofs of God in this way because I want to get at the heart of the God question in philosophy – and I think that question ultimately comes down to the problem of bad and the problem of good. It is not that I necessarily buy any of the arguments discussed here, even the more sophisticated ones. The problem of suffering is too intractable – it’s at least as big a problem for those who believe in God as the problem of value is for those who don’t. But perhaps there is some sort of dialectical synthesis to be found in between?
Value as proof of God - Love of All Wisdom by Amod Lele on Oct 24, 2011 2:33 AM]

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have saved us from fruitless discussions on whether the God exists. They have also indicated it clearly that the Divine can't be banished from politics, economics, or education. Enormous energy is conserved by this simple intervention and colossal confusion is avoided.

They have also equipped us with the wherewithal to renounce the old religions. Debate and discussion over their merit or demerit, though entertaining, drains away a lot of initiative and enthusiasm which could have been employed in far more purposeful and positive direction. Once one feels that The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have shown the right path in our own time, then clinging to the past patchworks is illogical as well as delusional.

Hazare hurricane has made it explicit recently as to how the mob mentality works. Old religions, similarly, thrive by peddling spectacle and the fictional. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, conversely, ask us to filter the past in order to take a leap into the future. [TNM55]

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